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Texas women will soon have to bury their aborted foetuses

A new law passed in the US state will require all foetal remains to be cremated or buried

The US state of Texas has passed a new law forcing women to either bury or cremate their aborted foetuses. 

The legislation, which was proposed by Republican governor Greg Abbott, will reportedly be put into effect on December 19. From that date, health care facilities will be responsible for ensuring that all foetuses – either miscarried or aborted – are given a burial or cremation. Disposal of foetal remains in sanitary landfills will be illegal. 

The law was reportedly passed without any prior notice, overriding intense opposition from both the medical community and reproductive rights activists. According to the Texas Tribune, its initial announcement prompted more than 35,000 responses to be submitted to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. 

Governor Abbott defended the law by saying that it would help people to distinguish between foetal remains and other medical waste. In a fundraising email sent to supporters back in July, he wrote that the regulations would help to “turn the tides” against the “soulless” abortion industry, while also protecting the “rights of the unborn”. 

“I believe it is imperative to establish higher standards that reflect our respect for the sanctity of life,” Abbott wrote. “This is why Texas will require clinics and hospitals to bury or cremate human and foetal remains.”

Although these new regulations are likely to intensify the emotional pressures of women seeking reproductive care, Abbott claimed they would ensure the “enhanced protection of the health and safety” of the public. He also stressed that the costs – despite being paid for by the health care facilities, and being significantly more expensive – would be “offset by the elimination of some current methods of disposition”.

Back in August, reproductive rights lawyers expressed their dismay at the proposed regulations, telling the Texas Tribune that they “will almost certainly trigger costly litigation.”  

“Texas politicians are at it again, inserting their personal beliefs into the health care decisions of Texas women,” said Stephanie Toti, the senior counsel for the Center for Reproductive Rights. “The Center for Reproductive Rights is prepared to take further legal action to ensure that Texas women can continue to access abortion and other reproductive health care without interference by politicians.”

If you’re a Texas resident who is concerned about these new regulations, you can contact your representatives here. You can also reach out to Governor Abbott directly here